So Beauty & the Beast is out – everybody’s been waiting over a year since the first announcement for the live action reimagining of this classic and it’s finally here. Annnnd, I haven’t seen it. Sorry. Short Rib isn’t really cut out for sitting in a loud cinema for two uninterrupted hours yet. I hear it’s great though! So there’s still definitely reason to celebrate the theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast.
The way we are doing it, is a little more toddler friendly though thanks to the wonderful people at Usborne books. They have an amazing range called “Peep Inside a Fairytale” which boasts its newest addition as being none other than Beauty and the Beast. Re-told by Anna Millborn, this beautiful book is way more than your average lift-the-flap tale.
It’s a sturdy cardboard number, which is just as well, with Short Rib being as destructive as he is. It also boasts some of the most interesting and colourful illustrations I’ve seen in a board book. The art style is really playful, which is a great idea when tackling something like a “beast”. It’s certainly not going to frighten any of the readers, no matter how young they are. The story itself is also very different to the Disney one that everyone is accustomed to. I won’t spoil it, but it’s clearly simplified for the audience of toddlers and young children. It’s a great way of doing it, even if it was a little disappointing not to see some of my favourite side characters not brought to life in the same way as Belle and Beast.
That said, the ‘Peep Inside’ elements are flawless.
The laser cutting of the cardboard is massively intricate and flows from scene to scene perfectly. There aren’t any dodgy lines or bits of artwork that have been accidentally cut away. Each flap and each hole have a very distinct purpose. Each time you look at it with your child you will find a new detail that you didn’t notice first time around. I prefer this to conventional lift-the-flap titles, because Short Rib, as a tiny tornado, has a tendency to be a bit rough with the delicate little pieces of card. If your toddler hasn’t really learned to be gentle yet, this is a great alternative that won’t be easily destroyed.
It’s also wipe clean, I found. That’s a bonus too.
The book is a beautiful addition to any collection for both girls and boys. The art style isn’t more suited to either gender, I’m pleased to report.
I’m thrilled that Usborne have also provided our readers with a chance to win one of these amazing books for themselves. All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends on 30th March 2017 and you can enter every single day via Twitter!
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